SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 137

SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

HI SAS Community,

I have been told that many large corporations tend to implement complete package solutions from SAS such as SAS Credit Risk Management, SAS marketing automation and so on. I have also been told that should package solutions be implemented in an organisation for a particular line of business, there wouldn't be a need for SAS Developers as the lifecycle of Data integration to Reporting and Analytics apparently gets fully automated. In that case, the need for SAS Developers would perhaps arise only when there is a requirement for extensive data customisation and beyond.

If my above understanding is correct, is it possible to simply keep the ball rolling by merely just hiring a couple of Admin, and couple more SAS Implementation experts consequently downsizing the team eventually saving costs Smiley Happy?

I'd appreciate if anyone can get my understanding clear and absolute.

Thanks,

Charlotte from England

Super User
Posts: 9,687

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

I have a question for you . If you have a customize task which these sas packages wouldn't be able to accomplish ,what you gotta do ?

You can't count on these sas packages for everything .

Xia Keshan

Super Contributor
Posts: 644

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Well Charlotte

If every bank in the world was running identical banking applications on identical machines using identical identifiers and marketing identical products to identical customers using identical business rules in identical regulatory requirements and having identical maverick board members asking identical maverick questions about risk you might have a case that an out of the box credit risk solution could be implemented by a couple of admin, at least until the world suffers its next identical financial crisis and all the rules change again.

In the real world sleepless tossing is not advised.

In any case you can switch to marketing or fraud detection where it is the nature of success to innovate or at least attempt to keep up with what others are doing, requiring inventiveness and flair which will not come ot of a box.

Richard

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Posts: 137

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Hi Richard and Ksharp,

Thanks for your responses. Yes, I totally agree. It was just a school of thought, however it could perhaps lead to at-least some level of downsizing right even if the plug and play game achieves only 40-50% on the objective. I can't estimate to what size the team could get smaller. Just makes me wonder though that, ruthless corporate unsympathetic minds always look for avenues to cut costs.

I hope you are enjoying spring  down under,

Charlotte

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Posts: 4,659

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

A view from afar.

At one point, and I don't think you're quite there yet in the financial world, the car manufacturer simply provides adequate tires, and looks elsewhere for a competitive advantage. Pre-packaged software solutions are probably perceived as adequate and reassuring by some who have been burned in the past by tremendous cost overruns and IT project failures.

There is definitely more creative space left in defining the business model than in implementing it.

Enjoying Autumn, up here.

PG

PG
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Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Cold windy and wet down here but at least I can see where I am heading as I stumble off to work.

As it happens I am working for an organisation which is implementing a SAS solution and there seems to be no shortage of opportunities to ply my trade.  No doubt that as the products mature over time some of the 'features' will be smoothed over but the SAS admins have quite enough to do, thank you, without having to get involved in model validation, to take an example.

I have also recently worked in an organisation which has decided on an in house approach to the same type of development.  I think the potential value of the package approach lies in the nature between the organisation and the vendor: it can and should be much more of a partnership than a transaction.  My analogy is the doctor and the pharmacist: my doctor understands (some of) what makes me tick, the pharmacist knows my name because it is on the scrip.  SAS can sell you the 'pills' for you to use as you see fit, or they can help diagnose and address the business requirements.  And when it is all implemented inevitably people move on, diluting the intellectual capital of the organisation, but some of that is offset by having a business partner that continues to understand both the issues and the solution.

Richard "too soon to bring out the budgie smugglers"

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Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Xia en RichardinOz are right. For the business goals on a competitive edge you need people to understand that and how to implement that.
Plug in and play solutions? How can you believe that kind of stuff. Of course SAS sales will try to convince the buyers of that.

The SAS developers or how you call them are needing to deliver the data and evaluate those.

Perhaps there is shift possible to the content users and in that case they are fulfilling that role   

Going to the CIO role, this one nice: http://blogs.sas.com/content/corneroffice/2014/06/25/4-tips-for-modern-cios/

Well your CEO is responsible for your business and the CIO of your business should take some of that responsibility. That is not the role of SAS institute to do that.

As regulators at some time will come in and check your IT-policies (cobit iso27 SOX Basel III) whatever is relevant you could have a big problem.

There are areas demanding good cooperation with your ICT staff and risk-management department (internal governance policies). Implementation and Administration should be designed to follow that. Do you think those things will happen as a miracle hiring some specialist? 

"ruthless corporate unsympathetic minds always look for avenues to cut costs." These are the dangerous species when they are not really understand the impact althoud they are convinced the do. They are not knowing what the do not know.  

---->-- ja karman --<-----
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Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Very nice PG, I think we are spread all over the world now, the modern time.
You are bringing in the automotive industy, thery are at a far higher maturity level. Like those tyres, very highly specified tested and validated (regulated). The same with cars, they have to be according a lot of regulations. The a-ford time is far back in history.
That is where we are with our IT world. Not standardized no common regulations all is still free for the manufacturer. Waiting for the T-ford revolution. Indeed the business should got more aligned with ICT.          

---->-- ja karman --<-----
Valued Guide
Posts: 3,208

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Very well Richard. I like that one: of the doctor - pharmacy too.    As soon as the pharmacy company selling pills is trying to replace the doctor? 

---->-- ja karman --<-----
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Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

As an afterthought:

Not every SAS admin can be a Jaap of all trades.

Richard

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Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

This is my view from inside SAS, informed by my role as consultant in SAS Professional Services.  So take it as you will...

A SAS packaged solution brings a number of benefits: industry best practices, domain-specific data models, and user interfaces that are approachable by your in-house domain experts and not just by technicians.  And, most packaged solutions are already field-proven (see Customer Stories | SAS) so much of the guesswork and uncertainty is removed.

However, all of this means that you can use your SAS developer resources to concentrate on higher-level tasks.  Instead of building a solution from the ground up, your developers can spend their energy pulling in your relevant data in prep for use by the solution.  And they can use their skills to take data produced by the solution and surface it in other places, making meaningful results available to constituents that previously would never have access to it except as an afterthought.  They can spend their time attending to business questions instead of technical questions -- and as a SAS developer, I find that much more satisfying.

Chris

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Posts: 63

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

This is a very interesting conversation.  Thanks for opening it up Charlotte.

My employer uses a lot of Packaged SAS Solutions (we have some heathens who use solutions provided by other vendors) and our SAS Solutions greatly improve productivity of data analysts, business analysts, marketing analysts, and other 'users' who do not aspire to become a SAS developer.  As Chris says, these packages free them up to focus on solving the business problem instead of getting data.

The self-service provided by SAS Solutions quite rightly elimininates the need for 'low level' programming/development--that's one of its goals--but it increases the need for developers capable of high-level programming to solve problems too complex or 'messy' for a packaged product.  Most significantly, the need for high-level extract-transform-clean-load development never goes away (even with DI Studio) and I think is increased by implementation of these self-service Solutions that analyze data and present information to decision makers.

Myself, I wouldn't want to be an Administrator... it's too much like a Systems Administrator.  I'm with Chris... I think this is a very good time to be a SAS programmer/developer.  There's great opportunity for younger people to grow and do exciting things.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 137

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Hi,

Thank you so much for finding it interesting Smiley Happy,acknowledging and participating in this discussion, and I sincerely appreciate that.

I'm so glad and thankful to each one of you in taking the time to think through and voice an opinion. Well, I guess i mustn't say just "Opinion", those are indeed coming from your great experiences and expert knowledge. I have taken some excerpts that makes complete sense from all the above that uses wonderful metaphors and analogies starting from PG comparing the finance industry to automobile industry.

PG Sir, What about Driver-less Car for Google and Tesla motors, California- no need for us to Drive anymore? Sounds fun, right.

Secondly, very well explained by Richard, visioning the Pharmaceutical company scenario-hey I love this-"my doctor understands (some of)"hahaha. Well said, Only some of, I never really trusted a Doctor fully ever.

And of course the neat explanation by Chris and John Bentley in getting to comprehend for a SAS Developer to fill in roles of working on much more challenging tasks as opposed to sticking to merely basic programming/development stuff. This really means our team excluding me(still slow in learning) is a bunch of classics(super experts)- PG and Richard will write codes at super sonic speed, Xia Keshan is known to transform all that into Hash Objects, Jaap of course all trades- from Admin to Implementation and beyond, John our Technical Boss and Chris, our tech support consultant at SAS if need be. lol Nice idea eh?

Chris, Just a quick question? Kudos to SAS for pumping in tons of money into R&D year after year from profits. I find that amazing for a privately held company to do so. Does that mean you guys at SAS are happy to keep the margins low. What next from R&D, got VA now, then perhaps SUPER VA with some further enhancements?What is that you are trying to accomplish with so much money pouring into R&D?

Have a wonderful weekend Gentlemen.

Thanks as always as ever,

Charlotte

Super User
Posts: 9,687

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

"Xia Keshan is known to transform all that into Hash Objects"

I gotta say you don't understand me .

Xia Keshan

Valued Guide
Posts: 3,208

Re: SAS packaged solutions outstrips need for SAS developers?

Richard, Sorry I have also my limitations not able to do all trades :smileyblush: .
I am very happy with some borders as was it just for compliancy reasons. 

---->-- ja karman --<-----
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